Smithers riding is unique, offering a full range of experiences. From high alpine singletrack to trails winding through the northern forest landscape, Smithers hosts a blend of rugged, steep technical terrain combined with new school all-mountain flow. The Smithers Mountain Bike Association manages three trail networks in partnership with the Province:
Typically, the Bluff opens in early May, followed by the Ptarmigan network. The Piper and Backdoor areas typically open by mid-June. The riding season usually ends in early November.
Trail management standards are constantly evolving throughout BC. Over the past three years SMBA has begun to develop a more transparent and inclusive process to determine trail management priorities for each season. We don’t have it nailed yet, but with the support and engagement of membership, we can get there.
In 2015, the SMBA submitted its second Trail Management Plan to the Province of BC. Along with the new Management Plan, a new Trail Maintenance, Adjustments and Development Policy was implemented. The Trail Policy is intended to facilitate a membership driven process to provide direct input into trail maintenance and development priorities that SMBA can coordinate with Recreation, Sites and Trails BC.
The current approach is that every fall, the SMBA engages membership through the Trail Sub-Committee to determine the Operating Plan priorities for the following year. The Operating Plan lays out proposed new trail developments and major maintenance priorities so that SMBA can submit the Plan to Recreation, Sites and Trails for approval before the shovels hit the ground. This process did not go as planned in 2019 due to COVID and other unexpected events, but the hope is that we can create a transparent and predictable process that engages the members in trail management directly. You can view the 2020 Operating Plan here.